August 7th, 2020

Horwath calls for Hamilton LRT to be part of post-pandemic recovery

Secret consulting report doesn’t back up inflated cost claims

HAMILTON — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on the Ford government to reverse its callous cancellation of the Hamilton LRT — especially since that project is now a critical part of Hamilton’s post-pandemic recovery.

“The LRT was always a project that would connect our community, stimulate our economy and make life a little better for students, families, and businesses along the corridor,” said Horwath. “When Doug Ford and his government decided to axe the LRT, they flushed hundreds of millions of dollars that were already spent down the drain — along with new opportunities to create jobs, build more affordable housing, help in the climate crisis battle, and generate billions of dollars in economic activity.

“Now, our post-pandemic recovery needs jobs and economic stimulus more than ever — and according to the federal government, the LRT is the only major public infrastructure project that’s shovel-ready in Hamilton. It’s not a want. It’s a need.”

Hamilton City Council has passed more than 60 votes approving the LRT. But in September 2019, the province justified scrapping the project by claiming that the cost had risen as high as $6.5 billion.

On Friday, Horwath revealed a heavily-redacted version of the consulting report on which the government’s costing was supposedly based — and it doesn’t appear to back up their claim.

“The government claimed this report backed up their numbers. From what we can tell, it doesn’t,” said Horwath. “Was the Ford government just making stuff up again to justify cancelling this critical project?

“People deserve answers – but far more than that, Hamiltonians deserve an LRT.”


Nrinder Nann, Hamilton Ward 3 City Councillor
“For Hamilton, the LRT is an artery of possibility to a just recovery from Covid-19. This shovel-ready project can deliver the climate, equity and economic outcomes that Hamiltonians deserve. As we emerge from this pandemic, investments in green infrastructure like transit and affordable housing that complete our neighbourhoods are essential for future generations to thrive.”

Tim Potocic, co-owner of Sonic Unyon Records, Director of Supercrawl
“LRT will be a critically important element to our local transportation network by moving people with speed and efficiency. This clean mode of transportation will elevate our city and attract new business to complement our already robust growth. I’m excited for shovels in the ground to begin a new day of progress for Hamilton.”


  • The province’s September 2019 costing claimed the LRT project would cost $4.6 billion to $6.5 billion, including:
    • $2.3 billion to $3.7 billion for capital costs
    • $1.6 billion to $2 billion for operation and maintenance, plus financing
    • $700 million to $800 million for “non-P3 capital”
  • The Turner and Townsend report, which the NDP has accessed through freedom of information laws and which was finalized in October 2019, shows:
    • $2.32 billion for capital costs, including escalation and contingency
    • $818.8 million for operations, maintenance and lifecycle costs
  • On Feb. 26, 2020, the Ford government admitted in a committee, behind closed doors, that Metrolinx itself did not recommend scrapping the Hamilton LRT